This is truly a day I wish we didn’t have to have. You know I’ve been caught up in the day to day national days recently. Like yesterday was National Day the Music Died Day. Today has a much different meaning for me. Today is World Cancer Day.
World Cancer Day: My Family
You see cancer has stolen so much from our lives. My paternal grandmother had breast cancer and lived a long life after her mastectomy. She gave me the joy of laughing about her prosthesis. My maternal grandmother was riddled with cancer when it was discovered and she lived a very short time after diagnosis. There was peace and comfort in the end as she asked for forgiveness of her past transgressions and we as a family gave it. My mom went through renal (kidney) cancer. Something most people don’t live through but she thankfully is several years out from her diagnosis and kidney removal and going strong.
But cancer steals some of the moments we could have had. It steals the sense of security. At 35 I went to the OB/GYN and said I need to have the BRCA testing done. I knew what I would do immediately if it was positive but it was a hard decision to face. I’m thankful that it was negative but I still have a much higher than normal risk of getting breast cancer in my life.
World Cancer Day: Childhood Cancer
Unfortunately cancer doesn’t stop looking at all of us. It doesn’t see race, religion, sex or even age. We have a blogger friend who’s son Gunner has fought cancer. After several treatments, we thought Gunner was in a good space. Then that devil came back. I have been a long time supporter of St. Jude’s. I hope to one day visit the campus and see first hand all of the hard work they are doing to change lives. This year St. Jude’s is teaming up to help globally too. Young Syrian refugees living in Lebanese camps is one place where St. Jude Global has already made a difference that will be featured during the upcoming American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Annual Meeting – the world’s largest gathering of multi-disciplinary sciences – on Sunday, Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C.
A collaboration between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon at the American University of Beirut Medical Center has led to almost 600 non-Lebanese children receiving cancer-related evaluations, treatment, consultations and referrals. By sharing resources, best practices, insights and infrastructure, more refugees were treated who would have otherwise died because they happened to have cancer at a time when their family was displaced by war.